Do you ever have an interaction with someone and then feel like you’ve said something wrong? Afterwards, you spend the next three hours berating yourself for how dumb you are?
Or maybe you get a question wrong on a test or make a mistake at work and spend the rest of the day telling yourself how stupid you are and how you can’t believe you made such a mistake.
It’s so easy to talk poorly to ourselves.
Things we would never say to a loved one (or probably even to someone’s face we didn’t like) flow easily into our minds about ourselves. Everyone knows bullying someone is cruel. Yet, so many of us are guilty of bullying ourselves without a second thought about the harm it causes.
Negative self-talk can destroy your self-worth. But when you talk to yourself with love, respect, and compassion, it changes the way you view yourself and affects your entire worldview.
Negative Self-Talk Hurts
Negative self-talk damages the psyche. What you hear (or think) about yourself gets embedded in your subconscious and becomes the reality you believe about yourself.
Toxic relationships take a toll on your mental health, and this includes a toxic relationship with yourself. There are many symptoms of a toxic relationship, including name-calling, that create depression and feelings of worthlessness. When you communicate in an unhealthy way with yourself, you are damaging your self-worth.
The more you tell yourself these things, the more you believe them, the less worthy you believe you are, and that ultimately can lead to other toxic relationships and self-destructive behavior.
Oftentimes, your negative self-talk has little basis in reality. You may have said or done something you perceive as negative, or maybe you don’t feel smart or confident, but then your mind tends to blow these events out of proportion. You start remembering every other time you did something wrong and all of a sudden, you discover that you’re the worst and you aren’t good at anything.
Your mind has convinced you that you have just seen the evidence of how unworthy you really are. But the truth is more complicated than that. Our egos work hard to protect us.
Don’t just assume your negative self-talk is accurate. It’s easy to fall into the trap of believing you have evidence in your mind to back it up, but that’s not entirely true.
If it were, wouldn’t you find it equally as easy to believe positive things about yourself? After all, there’s plenty of evidence of your positive traits as well. Yet, it’s much harder to believe something positive about yourself than it is to believe negative things.
However, learning to focus on communicating with yourself kindly and believing positive things about yourself can be done.
Your narrative creates your reality about who you are. If you want to live your best life, then be mindful of what you want that narrative to be.
Positive Narrative Equals Self-Love
If you had someone in your life that constantly put you down or talked badly to you, then you probably wouldn’t keep that person really close. I’m sure you work hard to surround yourself with supportive people who treat you with kindness and compassion and who genuinely enjoy your company.
You choose these people because they treat you with love. If you choose kind and loving people to surround yourself with, then don’t you think that’s how you should also treat yourself?
Talking to yourself kindly and treating yourself with compassion and forgiveness equals self-love. You must be kind to yourself if you want to reconnect with yourself. Self-love allows you to give yourself permission to make mistakes and take time for yourself. When your self-worth is low and you don’t treat yourself kindly, it’s easy to fall into a martyr mentality where you put everyone’s needs ahead of your own, but the more drained you become, the less tolerant you become.
This can turn into resentment, anger, and depression because you feel someone should be taking care of your needs. And you’re correct; someone should. You should be taking care of your needs and treating yourself the same way you want others to treat you.
But the benefits to yourself are not the only ones. When you change your narrative to a positive one, you’ll also find that it’s easier to treat others with compassion and forgiveness. Positive self-talk is treating yourself with kindness, which enables you to see that everyone is human and gives you more compassion for what other people are going through.
Change Your Self-Talk
Knowing you need to talk more lovingly to yourself can be easier said than done. It is likely something you’ve done for a long time without thinking about. And it’s so much easier to believe negative things about yourself than it is to believe positive.
The first step in changing anything is to become aware of it. You need to pay attention to the things you say to yourself and how you feel about yourself. Notice those times when you chastise yourself, or when you obsess on mistakes or what you believe are failures. Keep a notebook handy or use a note app on your phone and track these thoughts and feelings. You don’t need to show this to anyone; it’s just for you to see. Sometimes we aren’t truly aware of how often we do something until we write it down. Seeing it can add a new perspective on it.
Once you’ve tracked your thoughts for a few days, now it’s time to reframe or replace those thoughts.
- Use affirmations for change. For example, if you lack confidence in an area, you can tell yourself, “I am confident.”
- Use facts to stop negative self-talk. For example, if you feel you aren’t smart enough for something, remind yourself – or even write down – all the times you can think of when you did do things you didn’t believe you could. This allows you to see that the negative thoughts have their basis in fear and not reality.
- Replace negative thoughts with compassionate ones. Use what you would say to your friend or family member as a guide. Treat yourself the way you treat others.
Learning to communicate positively with yourself is a life-long journey. The benefits of positive communication with yourself extend beyond your relationship with yourself into your relationship with others and the natural world as well.
When you treat yourself with love and compassion, that behavior will spill over into your other relationships. When you feel confident and loved, you will find that love flows from you to others. Love is your natural state.
Does your morning go something like this?
You roll out of bed after hitting the snooze button for the eighth time then drag yourself to the coffee pot, yawning while the coffee brews. You take that first sip of the too-hot liquid from the gods and find that you are a little less like a brain-crazed zombie. After finishing your first cup of coffee, you debate with yourself about whether or not you have time to work out, knowing full well you’ll keep the argument up until you’ve run out of exercise time just so you don’t have to do it. Then, you’ll feel guilty for not taking better care of yourself, but you’re tired because the kids wouldn’t sleep last night and you just can’t muster up the energy for that workout. Hell, you can barely muster up the energy to drag your butt into the shower and off to work. And now, you’re pretty sure you hear a little one playing in their room. You can’t even get a shower in let alone contemplate the idea of completing a morning routine!
I’m here to tell you, lady, that it doesn’t have to be this way. You can have a beautiful morning without taking up more precious time than your busy schedule will allow. Even better, after doing this for a few days, you’ll find that you no longer roll out of bed feeling like a zombie. This simple but powerful morning routine will give your more energy and center you so you can face whatever the day brings with love and confidence that you can overcome any challenges.
Simple Sacred Morning Routine
This sacred morning routine is short and simple, but will enable you to start your day off feeling calm, centered, and ready to take on the day.
- Connect To The Earth With an Intentional Breakfast
- Connect To Your Body Through Movement
- Connect To Yourself Through Meditation
Mornings are a crucial time of day because they set the tone for how your whole day will go. If you’ve read The Miracle Morning by Hal Elrod, then you understand this statement. If you haven’t, then go buy The Miracle Morning right now! (I’m not an affiliate for the book or Amazon, but I firmly believe this book will change the way you think about mornings.)
A lot of stuff I’ve read about morning routines requires you to get up super early. That way you have plenty of time for your morning routine without interruptions.
While I firmly believe in the power of a morning routine, I just can’t fathom the idea of waking up extremely early in order to do it. I seriously wonder how parents can find it in themselves to wake up at 4 am when there isn’t a screaming child! If there’s no baby crying (or grandbaby in my world), then you better believe my ass isn’t getting up at 4 am for anything.
Sleep is precious, especially for working moms. You already have enough on your plate and little enough time to sleep, so there’s no reason to wake up before the sun rises just to have some alone time.
That’s why I’ve created this simple morning routine that I follow nearly every day. It never takes me more than 30 minutes, but it’s been life-altering for me. I don’t exaggerate. I went from feeling fatigued and overwhelmed and barely getting myself out of bed in the morning to feeling good when I wake up and having enough energy to do this routine – without first having coffee!
[As an aside, I drink coffee all day long. I love the stuff. I used to need it pretty much before I rolled out of bed. Now, I don’t drink coffee until a couple hours after I’ve woken up. And I didn’t even try to do that; it was just a natural side effect.]
If you’re ready to start your day with more energy and feeling centered, then keep reading for my three step simple morning routine.
Connect To The Earth With an Intentional Breakfast
The very first thing I recommend every morning is to start with a glass of water. Water has numerous health benefits, including helping prevent weight gain, keeping your temperature normal, and lubricating joints.
Drink that glass of water slowly while thanking the universe for the beautiful day. Imagine the water flowing through your body and cleansing you as you drink it. It is a new day, and you are cleansed anew by the water. This water you are drinking connects you to all water and all life on the planet. Without water, no life on Earth could exist.
Be thankful for the water you have. And remember all those who don’t have the luxury of clean drinking water; send good thoughts to them that they may have what they need.
Eating a little something first thing in the morning is good for you. A healthy breakfast can lower your risk of certain diseases, like diabetes and heart disease, can improve cognitive function, and help with weight loss. It also helps to wake you up and feel more grounded in your body and in the moment. I suggest keeping it small so you don’t wind up feeling tired again.
Be sure you are choosing healthy foods. Proteins, fruits, and veggies all make excellent breakfast items. Avoid choosing processed foods as they are not the best foods to support your body, they are generally not sustainable, and they will likely make you end up feeling hungry or tired before the morning is over.
I personally like to make a homemade smoothie every morning. I throw in some spinach, kale, almond milk, fruits and veggies, flax seed, and turmeric and blend it. I take my time finishing it before getting ready for work, but I like to spend a couple minutes while drinking the first part of it to remember all the plants and animals that have given their lives so I may eat. Honoring the sources of our food is one way to connect ourselves to our food in a world where many of us have no hand in the process.
Connect To Your Body Through Movement
Your body was designed to move.
Yet, many of us spend most of our days sitting on our butts in a front of a computer and then a television and rarely get the amount of exercise that experts recommend. It’s creating degenerative back issues in people much earlier than they should have them.
But when you have an already overloaded schedule, how can you fit in exercise? Well, I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but you can’t unless you make it a priority. And let’s be real, most of us hate to exercise, so we’re not likely to do that for any long period of time. After all, how many times have you sworn a new year’s resolution to exercise, only to have that fall flat before January was done?
Regardless of time and motivation, movement is vital to your physical, mental, and spiritual health. Taking ten minutes a day to move your body will have worlds of improvement in your life. You’ll feel more focused, more able to handle challenges, and overall happier.
So, don’t ignore this step.
However, I’m not going to tell you to do a 10 minute advanced workout either. (Unless that’s what you want to do. In which case, you are a rare jewel, my friend.) What is important in this step is to listen to what your body wants.
You can ask yourself which kinds of movement sound attractive to you. Do you feel the calm stretching and strengthening of yoga suits your mind and body? Or would you enjoy a walk in the quiet morning? Or maybe dancing sounds like a fun way to start your day?
There are numerous options for you to choose from, but I encourage you to listen to what feels right for your body and then go with that. And if one day yoga sounds perfect, but the next you want to dance, then do that. Your body knows the movement it wants to do. All you need to do is listen to how you feel.
Set a timer and spend ten minutes reconnecting to your body through movement. Pay attention to how your body feels. Be thankful that it is there to support you. Remember this body has been with you through everything, and you should love it, even if there are things you want to change about it. By paying attention to your body as you move, you can reconnect to that aspect of yourself that you haven’t paid enough attention to lately. Your body really is a temple; she deserves your respect and love.
Connect To Yourself Through Meditation
Now that your body has had a few minutes of movement, you’re ready to settle in for a few quiet moments that support your mind and soul.
Meditation is often thought of as a time for silence or a time to relax the mind, and it is those things. However, it is more than that. Meditation is a time to reconnect to your heart, mind and soul. It’s a time when you can connect to the deepest parts of yourself.
Find a comfortable seated position. I don’t recommend laying down because it can be too easy to doze off in that position. Don’t worry about sitting in the full lotus, although you can if you like, but just find a position that will enable you to relax but remain awake. If you have a disability or back problems or other health issue, I do recommend a chair or couch over sitting on the floor. I use a recliner in my office because I have back issues that don’t let me sit on the floor that long even on a cushion. Don’t avoid meditation just because you feel you need to do it “right.” Right is whatever position allows you to focus on your inner world.
Find some soothing music without words. I suggest creating a playlist of songs that are about ten minutes long. I do this through iTunes and play it through my phone, but you can probably find something on YouTube that will work as well. Another option is to put on a guided meditation that’s about ten minutes.
The reason you want to use music or a guided meditation is for the time. You can set an alarm instead, but I would only suggest that if you have a tone for your alarm that is soothing rather than jarring. You’re about to go deep within yourself for ten minutes, and the last thing you want is to get abruptly torn out of that.
Just relax into the music and notice your breath. If you feel antsy or your mind won’t stop thinking, lean into it. Explore how your mind and body feel. Take this ten minutes to get to know yourself. This doesn’t have to be a meditation where you only seek silence. Use this time to build the relationship with yourself.
Add in Some Self-Love
When you’re finished, remind yourself how much you love you, and how grateful you are for the body that houses your spirit, for the mind that allows you to love and accomplish great things, and for the spirit in you that is sacred.
Breathe deep, and thank yourself for taking this time for you. You are beautiful, you are amazing, and you are worth taking care of. Remind yourself of these things throughout the day.
Don’t forget to add a few affirmations into your morning meditation! You can get your free copy of my 21 Self-Love Affirmations when you sign up for the newsletter below